European Commission Funding

Congratulations on being awarded a new European grant. EC grants are managed in a similar way to other research grants and so PIs should familiarise themselves with our generic online guidance for managing your grant. However, European Commission projects, such as FP7 and H2020, often have additional reporting requirements or specific terms and conditions and so additional guidance is available below.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.

  • EC Portal

    The EC Particpant Portal allows you to:

    • Prepare and sign your grant agreement
    • Submit amendments to your grant agreement
    • Manage your scientific and financial reports
    • View or manages roles and access rights in your project consortia

    Research Services have fsign access and are able to sign and submit financial reports. Project Administrators are responsible for preparing the financial report and should send to RSO Post-Award for checking using the template provided in plenty of time of the deadline so that any errors can be rectified.

  • Annotated Grant Agreements
  • Timesheets

    Timesheets for FP7 Projects.pdf

    We are currently reviewing our timesheet processes and procedures and will be contacting PIs regarding the changes.

  • Cost Statements

    RSO PA is responsible for compiling cost statements by the due date in accordance with the funder’s terms and conditions. This is done in liaison with the PI to ensure eligibility of expenditure and full use of the available funds. A review of time-sheeted payroll expenditure against budget will be completed to ensure that this is being claimed proportionally across the duration of the grant.

    If the project has an administrator, it is their responsibility to assemble claims to funders; these must sent to RSO PA for checking before submission as RSO PA is the Financial Signatory on the EC Portal. Project Administrators should always use the templates provided by RSO PA and send for checking with the relevant documentation completed in plenty of time.

    Some EC grants provide an element of pre-financing, once this funding has been claimed via an approved cost statement future funding will be released on approval of later cost statement.

  • Expenditure Evidence

    In order to comply with EC regulations Lancaster University must provide the relevant evidence against all research project expenditure when asked at audit. Failure to provide evidence can put the funding for individual items of expenditure or whole projects at risk. In these cases, the department will be responsible for funding any ineligible expenditure.

    Staff and students must adhere to Lancaster University financial policies regarding Travel, Procurement and Expenses etc.  Failure to comply with university policies can render expenditure ineligible and put the entire grant funding at risk.

    PIs must send all receipts that evidence staff expenses and university credit card expenditure to finance so that these can be kept. Copies of many different types of expenditure are held electronically on Agresso, where this is not possible RSO has an archive containing paper copies.

    For H2020 grants it is important that the project team retains evidence that the procurement policy has been followed, i.e. copies of quotes and tenders must be retained and provided for audit. It is also important that photographs are taken and retained of stickers added to all equipment (computers and research equipment) funded by the grant which state that they have been purchased using H2020 funds. In addition screenshots of job adverts (e.g. with jobs.ac.uk) that have been funded via the grant should be retained as evidence of expenditure.

  • Audits

    All H2020 grants which hit the €325,000 threshold will require an audit at the end of the project, regardless of when the threshold is met. 

    This varies from the FP7 model, whereby an audit must occur every time €375,000 is reached so €375,000, then €750,000 etc.

    RSO Post Award will liaise with PIs prior to and during an audit to ensure that all evidence (timesheets, receipts etc.) is available. RSO will assist the auditors by setting up appointments with the payroll department and answering queries. EC Project Administrators are required to produce cost statements and provide evidence in advance of the audit, and to assist with queries as soon as possible to enable audits to be completed before deadlines.

    Please be aware that audits for H2020 grants are significantly more detailed than for FP7 or other funders. Additional evidence of expenditure eligibility will need to be provided (see expenditure evidence above) and the auditors will need to meet with the project team.

  • Marie Curie Early Stage Researchers

    Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) on European Commission funded Marie Curie grants are allocated a total budget in Euros for their work on the project. RSO PA or the Project Administrator, if applicable, will review the exchange rate used to convert the budget into Sterling as the university uses Sterling to pay the ESRs. Ideally, this will be done on a 6-monthly basis. In order to avoid the situation where an ESR is overpaid due to exchange rate conservative exchange rates are used, this can mean that a bigger final payment is paid to the ERS at the end of the grant.

  • Exchange Rate Gain/Loss

    The university protects research projects, and therefore departments, against exchange rate losses by maintaining a central exchange rate loss/gain account. As such if your project suffers from unfavourable exchange rates you do not need to accommodate this within your grant budget. The university is able to do this by using exchange rate gains to cover the losses. Therefore, if your project income creates a surplus by a favourable exchange rate you will not be able to use this for project expenditure. RSO Post-Award will calculate exchange rate losses/gains related to your project and make the appropriate financial journals on Agresso.